Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Tuesday announced she is leading a coalition of 16 states that have filed an amicus brief supporting the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) lawsuit against New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The NRA’s lawsuit seeks to block James’s attempt in a separate lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, which has come under intense scrutiny for alleged mismanagement of funds and potential violation of rules of operation for nonprofits.
In an August lawsuit, James said leaders of the NRA “instituted a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement and negligent oversight… that was illegal, oppressive and fraudulent”. She argued the corruption was so broad that total dissolution of the organization would be necessary.
Subsequently, the NRA responded by suing Attorney General James in New York federal court, claiming that her dissolution lawsuit violated the First Amendment by seeking to punish the NRA for its constitutionally protected Second Amendment advocacy, according to Rutledge.
“New York’s lawsuit is a political stunt by a liberal attorney general who promised in her campaign to go after the NRA. It is designed to undermine our Second Amendment right,” said AG Rutledge. “Even if it makes me unpopular in places like New York, I stand committed to protecting the Constitution – particularly Arkansans’ right to bear arms. That is why I oppose the New York Attorney General’s political stunt and am proud to lead these 16 States in supporting the NRA’s lawsuit against New York. I repeat my invitation to the NRA: The Natural State would happily welcome an organization that fights for the Second Amendment rights of Arkansans and all Americans.”
A request for comment from the New York Attorney General’s office regarding the amicus brief has been made.
Rutledge’s amicus brief supports the NRA’s federal court lawsuit. The brief argues that James sought dissolution because she does not like the NRA’s political advocacy, its members’ political views, and the organization’s defense of a fundamental constitutional right.
The brief argues that New York’s lawsuit violates the First Amendment because it was designed to retaliate against the NRA and its members for constitutionally-protected activities.
Arkansas is joined in the amicus brief by Republican Attorneys General in Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.